In today’s podcast, I sit down with Mort Fortel. He developed the Marriage Fitness program. It’s not about getting in shape physically. It’s all about developing habits that will strengthen and nourish your marriage so that it’s strong and dependable. The parallels between fitness and marriage are awesome, and I love how Mort talks about them.
The Key to Good Fitness
At the very core of good fitness is one important question - are you getting in the reps?
Building strength, endurance, flexibility, and developing good nutritional habits is all about repeating specific, beneficial behaviors over and over until they get you results.
You lift, you run, bike or swim, you stretch, you eat your veggies and stay away from sugar… and eventually your body transforms. It’s capable of doing things its never done before. It’s more reliable, more attractive. It just works the way you want it to.
Your marriage is not much different!
If you want to have a thriving, satisfying, deeply-connected relationship, it takes reps!
If you repeat the right behaviors over and over again, your connection will be strengthened, your communication will improve, your trust will be fortified, and your passion will be off the charts!
But if you really want results you need to need 2 things before you start trying to get in those reps:
You need to know what “exercises” are going to give you the benefits you want
You need to be deeply committed to being consistent
Your Marriage WOD (Workout of the Day)
If you’ve got the second part down – if you’re feeling committed, and just want a little guidance – I’ve got your back. The following is a list of things you should be doing DAILY in order to have a marriage that’s so fit that it makes all the other girls envious.
Focus On Your OWn Fitness
First and foremost, you have to focus on your own fitness!
If you want a strong marriage you have to come to terms with the reality that the only thing you can control is whether or not you’re getting in your reps.
You’d be surprised how many people attempt to create a healthy marriage by trying to convince their partner to the exercise. They sit there on the sideline and complain that their partner isn’t lifting the weights or running the laps.
Not an effective strategy.
The best thing you in your marriage is to lace up your shoes, chalk up your hands and go to work. And if you see your partner do anything that even slightly resembles progress, cheer them on!
Find something to be grateful for every single day in your marriage. Catch your partner making your life better. Tell them out loud with words how much they mean to you… even if they aren’t a “Words of Affirmation” person.
Practicing gratitude helps you stay focused on the positive things in your life. So much of your marriage’s success is based on what you choose to focus on. If you don’t spend time focusing on the negative stuff, it won’t have any power to throw you off your game.
Actions demonstrate love in a way words never can.
Ask your partner every day, “What’s one thing I can do today to make you feel loved?”
Then… do that thing!
Let your partner see your love by the way you support them in their dreams, the way you take away their pain, the way you pay attention to the things that bring them joy, or cause them stress.
Practice Physical Connection
Physical connection is huge!
It releases endorphins. It builds trust. It creates space for emotional intimacy.
It’s easy to become complacent in this area in your relationship. To stop holding hands, kissing passionately, or really connecting during sex.
A great daily habit that will help you never lose that special spark is to kiss passionately every day. My wife and I do this at the end of the workday. We greet each other at the door, and I pin her against the wall and just plant a nice, long, 10-second kiss on her mouth.
It’s awesome, and it helps us from letting the well run dry, if you know what I mean.
What Are Your Habits?
This list is a great start for a daily Marriage Fitness routine, if you don’t have one already. What other things would you add to this list to have an even better workout? What are some awesome, repeatable activities you do that build trust, passion, and connection in your relationships?
Leave your ideas in the comments.
About Mort Fertel
Mort Fertel is the creator of Marriage Fitness, a relationship renewal system that’s been used by millions of people in marital crisis. In addition to his success with couples, he pioneered the “Lone Ranger Track,” which offers people with an obstinate spouse a path to reconciliation.
People from all over the world schedule private tele-sessions with Mort Fertel and seek his counsel by joining the Marriage Fitness Tele-Boot Camp, the most comprehensive relationship home learning program in the world. Mort Fertel is the author of Marriage Fitness Audio Learning System and the host of the “Fix Your Marriage” podcast. Over 3 million people have subscribed to his free report “7 Secrets to Fixing Your Marriage.”
Mort Fertel is the subject of Back from the Brink, a documentary written and directed by Toroes Thomas, which chronicles people in marriage crisis.
Mort Fertel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987, was the CEO of an international non-profit organization, and a former marathon runner. He lives with his wife and 5 children (including triplets!) in Baltimore, Maryland.